On Saturday we took the boys on the scenic route to Galveston headed for Moody Garden's Festival of Lights. Our first stop was in Bellaire at Santa's favorite DIM SUM restaurant for lunch. Which as it turns out was decked out in red and gold even more so than usual for a private party later in the afternoon. And after eating their weight in Chinese food the boys were given balloons and Santa hats as they headed out the door giving credence to the fact that it must indeed be Santa's favorite.
The boys napped in the car as we made our way down to Galveston and drove down the Seawall looking for a section of beach that wasn't underwater with the higher than usual tide. The boys woke up as we pulled into a parking space.
We hopped out and set off on a leisurely stroll down the beach.
The boys of course couldn't resist picking up a few [million] shells along the way.
So many in fact that we had to go back to the car and get a bucket to put their collection in less they stuff the still wet, muddy shells in their pockets when they ran out of room in their hands.
They investigated crab holes, and drew pictures in the sand.
And Connor couldn't resist chasing a few seagulls shouting "RAWR!!!"
With sunset approaching we headed back to the car to make our way over to Moody Gardens. We picked up aquarium tickets in the thankfully short line and headed inside to enjoy the Aquarium before the Light Show.
The boys were fascinated by the frisky penguins who were putting on quite a show.
Several plopped into the water, and raced around jumping high out of the water and leaving mini vornado's of bubbles in their wake before rocketing back up onto solid ground and dancing around excitedly. Others splashed around on their sides spraying the glass of the tank with water.
As we visited each tank the boys excitedly called out the different types of fish they recognized from the lion fish, and stingrays to sharks, starfish, Sheldons! (sea horses), Dorey! and Nemos! and barracudas.
They also enjoyed stamping their Shark passports along the way running from station to station.
Ryan excitedly pointed out the Sea Lion skeletons calling it a T-Rex like the one in the museum in the Dinosuars Night Before Christmas book that has become one of their favorities.
Though the coolest thing I thought were the sharks. They were on the prowl and swimming close to the glass vs. hiding in the depths of the tank.
Several made multiple passes over our heads in the tunnel.
Giving us an up close and personal view of their sharp, pointy teeth! Ryan was particularly convinced that this one was going to eat me. :)
With it well after dark we said goodbye to the fish and made our way to the entrance to the festival of lights.
The boys had new favorites this year, including the dinosaurs (or decepticons! as Ryan called them).
And of course the man fishing...
And Ryan of course loved just about anything yellow. :)
I am not sure if I could pick just one favorite. I loved the giant nutcrackers, and the mountain of butterflies. I also really like the elf forest.
Ryan liked the elphants.
And, no surprise, Connor was excited to see the fish.
They made it a little more than half way (about the elf forest) before they decided the long walk on the beach, the running around in the aquarium and the first half of the Festival of Lights was an awful lot of walking for their short little legs and didn't we want to carry them??? Kevin took turns carrying them on his shoulders for the rest of the tour.
Afterwards we made our way over to The Original for me to get my Mexican fix in. The queso was heavenly, and the boys were perfect little angels. Connor devoured his uber cheesy quesedillas practically in one gulp and I am pretty sure Kevin licked his plate clean.
Stuffed to the gills the boys and I crashed in the car on the way home and made Kevin drive. We woke up long enough to make it into the house and then passed out in bed, again. :)